SURVEY RESULTS – Kimberley Skills and Labour Shortage Barrier to Regional Sustainability

The currently situation the Kimberley region is facing is severe due to a mass exodus of backpackers and seasonal workers from the region, is dire, and is forcing many local business to operate a limited capacity and even ceasing operation.  This is mainly due to interstate border, restricted visa requirements and inability to access staff on the Pacific Island Visa Scheme at the commencement of the COVID-19 restrictions.

The latest CCIWA Regional Pulse (October 2020) report indicates 74% of businesses in the Kimberley are significantly affected by the interstate border closure, which is evident here in the region, especially when trying to recruit personnel to enable business operations.

The Kimberley Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and East Kimberley) recently conducted a survey of our members and the wider business community in the region, measuring the impact of the skills shortage to current business requirements.

Results have indicated a severe shortage of workers especially those servicing the Hotels, Accommodation and Hospitality industries, closely followed by the Building and Construction industry.   The survey highlighted the following:

  • 59% of local businesses are not operating at 100% capacity due to workforce shortages
  • Businesses surveyed reported the region is currently short of 665 employees to cater for current demand
  • 67% of positions required are for the tourism and hospitality industries (Hotels, Accommodation, Restaurants, etc),
  • The survey revealed many of the jobs available in the region only require basic entry level skill sets
  • 35% of businesses have stated that JobKeeper and JobSeeker are impacting the availability of suitable candidates
  • 72% of businesses do not have the staff they need for today and currently forecasting that the situation will not change for at least 12 months
  • Only 43% of business have the workforce continue operating until the end of 2020 with the average decline of 54% in profitability for the quarter

Looking forward to 2021, 75% of respondents reported will not have enough staff to operate their business at commencement of the 2021 season, with the continued border closures and lack of workers.

Whilst we appreciate the initial steps the government has taken in managing the COVID-19 crisis, and the stimulus activities implemented to encourage recovery, businesses in the region are significantly struggling with no certainty in sight.

The WA Government’s ‘Work and Wander Out Yonder’ campaign is having no impact in the region, with marketing currently catered for Wheatbelt and Southern regions.  We also acknowledge the investment made into the WA TAFE and training sector, however this is not a solution to the problems in the short term.  With the looming uncertainty the region is facing, it is evident that the State and Federal governments need to outline a sustainable approach addressing the shortfall in labour, led foremost by health advice.  Some of these issues can be addressed by a full review of the Working and Skilled Visa requirements and conditions.

View the Survey Results here

JobKeepeer 2.0 – What is a ‘Legacy Employer’?

On 21 July 2020, the Federal Government announced the JobKeeper scheme, due to end on 27 September 2020, would be extended through to 28 March 2021 (JobKeeper 2.0). The extension was accompanied by a new set of JobKeeper rules involving tiered payments and a range of amendments to the eligibility criteria. Companies looking to claim JobKeeper from 28 September 2020 will have to re-qualify in order to be eligible.

Businesses that qualified and received JobKeeper in phase 1 but no longer qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 may be able to retain some scope to issue revised JobKeeper enabling directions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) as long as they can demonstrate a 10% decline in turnover. Employers that fall into this category are referred to as ‘Legacy Employers’. For many WA businesses that have been able to resume somewhat ‘normal’ business operations, access to these directions still remains essential during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

How to qualify

Businesses must prove the 10% decline in turnover either by:

  • Obtaining a 10% decline in turnover certificate from a financial services provider; or
  • Self-certify, where the business is a small business employer with less than 15 employees (excluding casuals who are not employed on a regular and systematic basis).

The test must be undertaken for each quarter as follows:

  • A 10% decline in turnover for the June quarter to qualify as a Legacy Employer between 28 September 2020 and 27 October 2020;
  • A 10% decline in turnover for the September quarter to qualify as a Legacy Employer between 28 October 2020 and 27 February 2021;
  • A 10% decline in turnover for the December quarter to qualify as a Legacy Employer between 28 February 2021 and 28 March 2021.

 

JobKeeper enabling directions for Legacy Employers

Legacy Employers can direct employees to:

  • Work reduced hours or days, as long as it is no less than 60% of the employee’s ordinary hours (as at 1 March 2020) and does not require the employee to work less than 2 consecutive hours each day;
  • Work at an alternative location; or
  • Undertake alternative duties.

The direction can only be issued where the employee cannot be usefully employed for the employee’s normal days or hours because of changes to the business due to COVID-19, or government initiatives relating to COVID-19. Useful work does not have to be the work the employee normally performs. If there is other productive work that the employee can perform safely, the direction cannot be issued.

Additionally, the direction must;

  • Be reasonable in all circumstances; and
  • Not reduce the hourly base rate of pay.

A Legacy Employer can request employees to work different days/times to what they ordinarily work as at 1 March 2020, but cannot direct them to do so. In other words, the employer and employee must reach an agreement, however, employees cannot unreasonably refuse a request of this kind under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Legacy Employers will no longer be able to direct employees to take annual leave under the revised JobKeeper rules.

 

Practical considerations

Existing JobKeeper directions made by employers will automatically cease as at 28 September 2020. Employers will need to issue new directions and ensure they comply with the consultation and notice requirements in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). This includes:

  • Consult with the employee/s at least 7 days before the direction is to be given;
  • Provide written notice of the intention to give the direction;
  • Provide the employee/s, or their appointed representative, if any, with information about the proposed direction;
  • Invite the employee/s or their appointed representative to give their views about the impact of the proposed direction; and
  • notify the employee/s in writing before each quarter if the direction is going to continue into the subsequent quarter.

A direction and/or request will cease to operate if the employer does not obtain a certificate for each quarter. An employer who knowingly fails to meet the 10% turnover test but proceeds with a JobKeeper enabling direction may face fines of up to $13,320 for individuals and $66,600 for body corporates.

Want to know more? Contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre team on 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com.

The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly evolving. We are regularly updating our online resource with a range of practical resources and insight to help you navigate the situation. Please visit covid19.cciwa.com for more information.

JOBKEEPER 2.0 – What does it mean?

The government has announced an extension of JobKeeper, along with changes to the current employee eligibility rules.

You can find full details of the announcement here.

ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES – IMPORTANT CHANGE TAKING EFFECT IMMEDIATELY

The government has made a change to the rules around employee eligibility. For the JobKeeper fortnight starting on 3 August 2020, the date employees must meet the eligibility rules has changed to 1 July 2020 (previously 1 March 2020). This may now mean that employees who were not previously eligible will now be covered.

If this is the case, you would need to make any top-up payments to these employees for the current fortnight ending 16 August 2020 by this date.

The other employee eligibility rules apply, as at 1 July 2020 they must:

·         Be employed by the employer

·         Were either:

o   Full-time, part-time or fixed-term employee

o   Long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 July 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.

·         Be aged 18 years or older at 1 July 2020

·         Be an Australian resident or an Australian resident for Income Tax purposes and the holder of a Subclass 444 visa.

·         Not be in receipt of parental leave or Dad and partner paid or in receipt of workers compensation payments.

FROM 28 SEPTEMBER 2020 (for period of 28 September 2020 – 3 January 2021):

To be eligible, the entity must be able to demonstrate that it has incurred a fall in turnover (as per below) for the quarter ended 30 September 2020. This time the test is solely based on ACTUAL GST turnover and no projections can be used.

The basic test compares the current year quarter vs the same quarter of the previous year.

·         Business with aggregated turnover under $1 billion, must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 30% or more

·         Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 15% or more

JobKeeper Payment Rate

The payment rates will be adjusted to the following amounts:

·         $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average

·         $1,200 per fortnight for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average

·         $750 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

FROM 4 JANUARY 2021 (for period of 4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021):

To be eligible, the entity must be able to demonstrate that it has incurred a fall in turnover (as per below) for the quarters ended 30 September 2020 and 31 December 2020. Again, the test is solely based on ACTUAL GST turnover and no projections can be used.

The basic test compares the current year quarter vs the same quarter of the previous year.

·         Business with aggregated turnover under $1 billion, must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 30% or more

·         Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission-registered charities must demonstrate a fall in turnover of 15% or more

JobKeeper Payment Rate

The payment rates will be adjusted to the following amounts:

·         $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weeks before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020, were working for 20 hours or more a week on average

·         $1,000 per fortnight for eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 20 hours or more per week on average

·         $650 per fortnight for all other eligible employees and business participants.

ALTERNATIVE TESTS:

The government has advised that as with the initial application, there will be a series of alternative tests available for businesses who either did not trade in the comparison period, or that the comparison figures are not appropriate for certain reasons.

There will also be discretion available where an employee’s hours were not usual during the February 2020 or June 2020 test period in determining whether they worked 20 hours or more per week (to claim the higher rate of payment outlined above). We still await further details on this.

$2.7 billion Stimulus Package Announced By WA Premier

The West Australian Government has unveiled $2.7 billion in new stimulus spending designed to boost the state’s economy, with a focus on renewable energy and building maintenance among other areas.

A total of 21 sectors have been pegged for stimulus, including health and social infrastructure, tourism and manufacturing.

The program brings the total value of the State Government’s stimulus to $5.5 billion since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Much of the initiatives contained within this document are about inspiring and incentivising the private sector to create jobs, to build and invest,” Mr McGowan told reporters.

A $60 million “shovel-ready” building maintenance program will be targeted at State Government facilities, including police and fire stations, as well as improved disability access at train stations.

Another $66.3 million will be spent on renewable energy technologies.

Renewable Energy

A total of $44.5 million will be spent on renewable energy infrastructure in WA’s North West, including 50 standalone power systems.

Nine regional communities will have battery storage systems installed, with some remote Aboriginal communities to receive infrastructure upgrades.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the stimulus package was designed with the private sector front of mind.

“One of the things that I’ve been painfully aware of … is that ultimately the Government — as a contributor to the economy — is 10 to 15 per cent,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It’s the private sector that we need to get up and running again, investing and employing people, and that’s what the recovery plan … is designed to do.”

 

Source:  ABC News

A Message from the President – Survive or Thrive

Unless a vaccine is found very soon, the 2020 Year of COVID-19 could well turn out to be the first of several years where COVID-19 continues to impact our lives and our businesses. If so, we will have to learn to adapt and live with this virus for some time. Multiple regions, like Victoria, and many countries are experiencing a type of second wave as they emerge from hard lockdowns which have already severely impacted jobs, businesses and the economies.  State and international border closures have inoculated WA from a second wave so far but how long can WA remain isolated from the rest of Australia and the world?

How many more disruptive lockdowns can our modern, integrated economies survive if widespread lockdowns continue to be the response to further outbreaks? And how much further can State and Federal governments go into debt to fund JobSeeker, JobKeeper and multiple business survival packages to lessen the impact of these lockdowns?

There is now ample evidence that this virus cannot be totally eradicated so perhaps it is time to look at different approaches until a vaccine is delivered. An approach where the focus is not on economy destroying widespread lockdowns, but on continuing promotion of sensible social distancing and providing the maximum resources possible towards directly protecting and supporting those most vulnerable to COVID-19 until a vaccine is available? We must get people back in work and businesses back in business as quickly as possible.

There is no doubt small and medium sized businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 control measures. Unfortunately, some local businesses have already closed their doors, many jobs have been lost, the 2020 tourist season has started late, and visitor numbers are down.  Tourism touches so many people and businesses in Broome and that sector has been hit particularly hard.

It is tough out there and it’s going to continue to be tough.  But what never ceases to amaze me is how resilient, tenacious, adaptable and innovative small business operators are.  With a healthy balance of realism and optimism many businesses are making the changes necessary to adapt and survive.  We are seeing this first hand in many of the Business Excellence Awards entries that have been submitted so far.  Our message to governments is that supporting the small business sector will be the quickest way back to providing jobs and getting the economy moving again.

We should never underestimate small businesses capability to survive and thrive. And Broome remains a good place to do that. There are few places that can match Broome’s liveability, lifestyle options and potential.

And perhaps without realising it, Broome has achieved a very diverse economy over the last decade or so with no one sector dominating, and many sectors have only been marginally affected to date.  Broome is still a very attractive place to visit and will benefit from the reluctance of many to travel overseas which may continue for some years.  The potential for a bumper shoulder season is very good.

There are good thing happening.  We will see the local construction sector strengthen in the next couple of months on the back of a significant increase in residential land sales thanks to government subsidies and continuing low interest rates.  The Kimberley Marine Supply Base is preparing for construction to start early next year and don’t discount Sheffield Resources re-energising their Thunderbird operations soon.  We are also likely to see domestic cruises, confined to the WA coast, starting up soon and Broome will be the number one attraction.

Broome also has a large range of shovel ready projects waiting for funding.  The Chamber has taken a lead role along with the Shire and other key stakeholders to pull together a Three Year COVID-19 Recovery Plan seeking to accelerate funding for these shovel ready infrastructure projects to create local jobs and increase money supply into the local economy. The Federal and State Governments has the money, we have the projects…… ready to go.

Broome’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan is our submission for some of this funding. Our competitive advantage is that these projects are ready to go and we have been able to demonstrate that the community is aligned and supportive of these projects.  I urge you to read the attached plan which also demonstrates the huge potential for Broome as a regional centre and a great place to live.

The future still looks bright!

PETER TAYLOR
President BCCI

A boost to regional economic recovery

Three Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups are set to benefit from a new initiative launched by Horizon Power, which will support the post COVID-19 economic recovery of small businesses throughout regional Western Australia.

Broome and Derby Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups along with Fitzroy Crossing Business Network will benefit from funds being provided through Vibrant Regional Businesses – a community-led investment program developed by Horizon Power in consultation with eight regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry groups.

Jodie Lynch, Broome Retail and Community Manager for Horizon Power said the Vibrant Regional Businesses program was all about meeting the needs of the community’s local small businesses in ways which will best support them in their post COVID-19 business recovery.

“We invited our local Chambers to consult with their members to inform the development of the program,” Jodie said.

“The response was overwhelming, and very quickly we identified a number of ways in which Horizon Power could be contributing in meaningful ways to the revitalisation of the regions we serve.”

Many of the Chambers indicated their community members and businesses had very good recovery ideas. However, with many businesses under threat of closing there was a need for support in areas such as business mentoring and planning services, digital innovation, as well as networking and events.

Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of the recipients of the initiative, and will receive $20,000 to support the delivery of digital innovation services to its members in Broome along with members of the recently formed Fitzroy Crossing Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Elaine Jolliffe, Chief Executive Officer of Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that while businesses in the region were experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 in different ways, there was common sentiment that moving forward, the way they did business would change.

“Our members are experiencing uncertainty and recognise that they do not have all the tools in place to transition into the new normal of conducting business,” Elaine said.

“Businesses are trying to adapt and keep up with technology. Through Horizon Power’s Vibrant Regional Businesses program, we will be able to offer our members small grants of up to $1,000 to develop and enhance their digital footprint.”

Local businesses will have the opportunity to access specialist digital services, including website and e-platform development, as well as online marketing and social media support to enhance their online presence and customer engagement.

“We see this as a win-win for our business community,” Elaine said.

“Our local business community is set to benefit from improving their digital platforms, and will be engaging local specialists to provide these services.”

 

-ENDS-

Media contact: Donna House 0436 635 827

Email: donna.house@horizonpower.com.au

 

About Horizon Power

Horizon Power is the West Australian Government’s regional and remote power provider.  We are passionate about what we do, and strive to ensure our customers receive safe and reliable power to their homes, businesses and communities.

Spanning some 2.3 million square kilometres, this makes us responsible for the largest geographical catchment of any Australian power provider.

We operate 38 power systems delivering power to more than 110,000 homes, communities and businesses. This includes 34 microgrids tailored to meet the unique needs of some of the most isolated and remote communities in the world.

Horizon Power is making significant investments in developing its renewable energy capability and expertise.  It currently has a number of initiatives underway exploring new and innovative ways of providing our customers with more sustainable, affordable power.

For more information visit www.horizonpower.com.au.

RCCIWA Impact Survey Five Summary Report

Results from the fifth survey in our continuing series on the impact of COVID 19 on businesses in regional WA indicate that as we see more easing of restrictions and move towards a new way of doing business in regional WA,  confidence in regards to surviving and recovering has increased further.

92% of all respondents feel confident that their business will survive this pandemic and 63% have seen an increase in business activity since easing of restrictions commenced. We know this increased confidence is driven by many factors, with the access to relief and stimulus measures being a major one. This is also why 55% of all respondents have asked for JobKeeper to be extended.

Still the region of most concern for RCCIWA is the Kimberley Region – with many factors contributing to those businesses being the most severely impacted in regional WA right now. We will continue to advocate for additional support measures for Kimberley businesses and will utilise the data collected in our surveys to highlight their situation.

Please thank your members for completing our survey – the information is being well used and their opinion and feedback does matter. We know everyone is getting a bit surveyed out, so the fact that regional businesses are taking the time to complete it is most appreciated. You have our permission to share our survey reports, including those from Surveys Two, Three and Four.

Phase 4 and Return to Work Considerations

On June 27 2020, Western Australia (WA) will move into phase 4 of the WA Government’s Roadmap to recovery from COVID-19. WA has been fortunate in that community transmissions have, at present, been limited. This has seen further restrictions eased across the state allowing many businesses to get back to a sense of normality.

Currently phase 3 is in place which includes a number of eased restrictions to large gatherings and additional businesses permitted to reopen. Phase 4 aims to further ease those restrictions as follows:

  • All existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule will be removed. Gathering limits will only be determined by WA’s reduced 2sqm capacity rule;
  • The 2sqm rule will include staff only at venues that hold more than 500 patrons;
  • Removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises;
  • No requirement to maintain patron register at food businesses and licensed premises;
  • All events will be permitted except for large scale, multi-stage music festivals;
  • Unseated performances will be permitted at venues such as concert halls, live music venues, bars and pubs;
  • Gyms can operate unstaffed, but regular cleaning must be maintained; and
  • The casino gaming floor reopening under agreed temporary restrictions.

International and interstate travel is still restricted, however during Phase 3 restrictions on intrastate travel was relaxed with the exception of travel to remote Aboriginal communities. The WA Government announced, as part of the phase 4 announcement, that the removal of WA’s hard border will be considered in phase 6 after phase 5, due to be introduced on July 18 2020. No date has been provided for phase 6.

Businesses that are reopening in phase 3 and 4 will need to submit a COVID Safety Plan. Businesses that opened in phase 2 are required to update their current COVID Safety Plan accordingly.

 

What does this mean for my business?

Moving from phase 3 to phase 4, it is now time to think about what measures need to be taken before returning employees to the workplace so business can be conducted in a safe manner, in line with Government and health and safety guidelines. Planning and forethought should be a top priority as this will lay the groundwork for a smooth transition back into the workplace. Factors that should be considered include:

 

Social distancing / physical distancing

Thought should be given to the capacity of the workplace and then identifying all the situations, tasks, and processes where employees and others (clients, customers, contractors and visitors) interact closely with each other. If the business does not have the ability to have all employees back at once, considering additional measures such as having some employees remain working from home, having employees return on a rotating roster system or moving furniture to accommodate the physical distancing requirements. Capacity of certain meeting rooms, board rooms and training rooms should also be considered with clear communication of the capacity if there have been changes.

Measures should also be taken for external visitors such as requiring self-screening forms to be completed when either hosting clients at the workplace or meeting them externally.

Other measures could include:

  • Reducing staff sharing equipment such as hot desking arrangements
  • Staggering staff start and finish times and staff lunch breaks
  • Having clear 1.5 metre markers where appropriate (floor and seating areas)
  • Seating in common areas changed to accommodate the 1.5 metre rule
  • Encouraging staff to still have virtual meetings where appropriate

 

Communication

Having effective communication with your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to limit the confusion and stress that employees may experience during this unprecedented and unpredictable time. Not only is it important to keep employees informed about the latest Federal and WA Government health warnings and advice but also to communicate the many changes the business is implementing to keep employees safe. This could include:

  • Consulting with employees about changes to rosters, start and finish times and lunch breaks;
  • Notifying staff of all relevant changes before they return to work to decrease stress and anxiety. For example, any changes made to workstations to accommodate social distancing requirements;
  • Changes in polices such as flexible work arrangements, travel and leave policies;
  • Promoting and communicating to employees the need to stay home if they have any flu like symptoms or mild symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Providing employees access to the businesses COVID-19 Safety Plan for transparency;
  • Promote regular and thorough hand hygiene to all employees, contractors and customers with signs and posters;
  • Communicating health and wellbeing services such as Employee Assistance Programs on all relevant platforms (email, intranet, notice boards and verbally);
  • Conduct surveys to gage employee’s thoughts on changes and their wellbeing through this unpredictable time;
  • Communicating the additional cleaning measures taken to ease employee’s concerns about exposure to COVID-19.

 

Health and well-being

With employees returning to the workplace it is also important to consider the current cleaning procedures implemented at the workplace. Making sure the procedures are adequate can be a low-cost way to not only prevent COVID-19, but can also stop or slow the spread of colds, flu and stomach bugs. Employees will be reassured that it is safe for them to return to the workplace as well as having the added benefit of reducing the instance of lost workdays due to illness. Safe Work Australia and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety recommends businesses, in light of COVID-19, should be cleaning surfaces daily with special attention given to frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, taps, kitchen surfaces, bathroom surfaces, TV remotes and hand rails. It is also important to make sure personal hygiene standards are encouraged, especially hand hygiene which can be facilitated by signs and posters around the workplace and by having easily accessible hand sanitisers around the workplace.

 

What happens if an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 in the workplace?

If an employee is confirmed to have or suspected of having COVID-19, you must clean all surfaces used by the employee to ensure any contamination is minimised. This should be done as soon as possible, and before any other employees have access to the affected areas.

Businesses should be mindful that in some cases, the business may need to look at suspending operations whilst this cleaning occurs, however, this will be determined by the size of the business, the number of employees, the nature of the work employees are undertaking and the size of the contamination area. Businesses should have a plan in place to manage a potential outbreak.

 

If you would like more information on this subject or any other matters, please contact the CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com   

Woodside COVID-19 Fund supports the Kimberley community

Five organisations in the Shire of Broome will share more than $150,000 from the Woodside COVID-19 Community Fund as part of the first round of grants announced today. The grants support initiatives helping the Kimberley community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd (KAMS) is one of the first local organisations to receive funding from Woodside. KAMS will receive a donation of $100,000 for the purchase of telehealth equipment necessary to maintain remote Aboriginal communities’ access to critical health services across the West Kimberley.

KAMS CEO Vicki O’Donnell acknowledged the significant contribution from Woodside.

“The support from Woodside will enable us to purchase telehealth equipment for our Aboriginal Health Practitioners, Doctors and Nurses in our remote clinics, giving them the ability to collaborate in real time with any major hospital in the country on the best medical treatment for our patients.

“This state-of-the-art technology gives us the capability to continue to provide critical health services to remote Aboriginal communities both during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future,” she said.

Other local organisations to receive funding are:

  • Feed the Little Children to support families to maintain household food security during COVID-19 through the provision of food hampers;
  • Marnja Jarndu Women’s Refuge to provide access to vital accommodation facilities;
  • Yawuru Jarndu Aboriginal Corporation to deliver a soap making initiative that educates vulnerable people about consistent and recurring hygiene practices during COVID-19 and beyond and;
  • Broome Community Resource Centre to purchase a multi-function printer to further support the Broome community with essential document services required during COVID-19.

Woodside’s Broome Corporate Affairs Representative Michael Roe said local not-for-profit organisations were delivering invaluable support to the community during COVID-19.

“We recognise that the region is facing tough times in response to COVID-19. Woodside has been part of the Broome community for almost 50 years. We can play our role in this unprecedented time by supporting local organisations who are going above and beyond to help the community get through it.

“We continue to work actively with our stakeholders, industry peers and local authorities to identify ways to respond to areas of need.

“If your organisation is helping people in our community, let us help you through the COVID-19 Community Fund,” he said.

Not-for-profit organisations in the Shire of Broome including the Dampier Peninsula are encouraged to apply for funding through Woodside’s $10 million COVID-19 Community Fund. For more information, or to apply, visit woodside.com.au

Updates on Restrictions for Tourism Businesses

As Phase 2 began on Monday, the State Government has released its formal Closure and Restrictions (Limit the Spread) Directions (No 3) which identifies permitted and restricted activities. The Directions can be seen here. You should review the Directions and how they apply to your individual business.
1. Permitted Tourism Services exempt from Gathering Limits and Safety Plans Under Section 12 of the Directions, many tourism services are exempt from the limits on gatherings. Neither the 20 person nor 4 square metres limit applies on these exempt services. A COVID Safety Plan is not required for these exempt services. Tourism services which are exempt include:
  • Accommodation services (including a hotel, motel or other accommodation facility) are exempt under section 12(0).
  • Airports are exempt under section 12(c).
  • Food Markets, Supermarkets & Grocery stores are exempt under section 12(l).
  • Motor Vehicles are exempt under section 12(u).
  • Public Transport including Charter Vehicles and similar services are exempt under section 12(d). This means neither the 20 person nor 4 square metres limit applies.
 
2. Special Cases
  • Takeaway food and delivery remain a permitted service. A COVID Safety Plan is not required for takeaway food services unless it is from a pub, bar or club with a liquor licence.
  • Swimming Pools are now permitted but with the 20 patron and 4sqm limits per pool. Communal shower and change room facilities remain closed, except for the toilets. A COVID Safety Plan is not required.
  • Non-contact sporting activity is permitted, indoors or outdoors, provided equipment is cleaned between uses and there are no more than 20 participants. A COVID Safety Plan is not required.
  • Indoor gym, health club or fitness centre where there is: no bodily contact, no use of shared equipment and no use of fixed equipment. Communal shower and change room facilities remain closed, except for the toilets. A COVID Safety Plan is required.

3. Meal Services Re-Opening with Limits and Safety Plans Sit-down meal service is now permitted in certain places with limits. The limits are 20 patrons (not including staff) and at least 4 square meters per patron. Alcohol is limited to consumption with a meal on licenced premises and COVID Safety Plans are required. Food Courts are still prohibited. The places now permitted to provide a meal with limits and a safety plan include:

  • a licenced pub, bar or club.
  • a licenced or unlicensed hotel.
  • a restaurant or cafe.
4. Tourism Services Still Prohibited Several tourism attractions, facilities and ancillary services remain completely prohibited. These are:
  • Amusement park or arcade.
  • Casino or entertainment venue.
  • Gallery, museum or historical sites.
  • Beauty parlour, spa or massage parlour and beauty therapy services.